Friday, February 15, 2013

Wedding Program Templates

Making your own programs is an easy way to save money and personalize your wedding, as long as you have some time.  For my wedding, I printed the inserts on purple paper and then used a pre-printed designed paper for the cover.  Then I punched two half holes on the edge and fed through some white sheer organza ribbon to tie it all together.  My sister's programs were a bit more complex, as I did a lot of paper cutting and glue-dotting to make them just right.

Regardless of how much effort you want to put into them, you definitely need to know what to say on your programs!  Below I have 2 different templates- one was the basis for my programs and is a bit longer and involved.  The other was the basis for my sister's programs and is more concise.  Hopefully these will offer some guidance for future brides making their own programs!

Here is the longer, more detailed template (click to make it larger):

Here is a more concise version (click to make it larger):

Monday, February 11, 2013

DIY Card Holder

This is one of those details that a lot of people don't think much about.  At your reception, you will have a gift table, but what about the cards?  You will definitely want something to hold the cards, and it is best if it is a container that will hold the cards in securely (so nobody could take one out...).  There are a ton of pre-made boxes out there that you could buy, but they aren't usually very special.  You could also make something yourself out of boxes etc, but even that can be more work than it is worth (though I have seen some really pretty and unique containers). 

For my wedding, I went with something cheap and easy, but unique and beautiful.  I used a bird cage. Now, you can buy special "wedding" bird cages, but like all things "wedding," they are expensive and not the best quality.  Instead, my mom found a decorative birdcage at TJ Maxx for around $10. You could also look at places like Ross, Marshalls, Home Goods, or even a thrift shop.  They are pretty common in the "decor" sections.  The one she bought was a copper/bronze color, so we did a few things:

1.  Spray paint the whole thing.  We decided on white, since it was a wedding after all, and it would match with any decor.

2.  Embellish with tulle/ribbon.  You do not even need to do this, but it was my kind of thing.  I wrapped a bit of white tulle around the top and tied a bow.  Then, for my motif, I added a jewel to the middle.  We actually used the same bird cage for my sister's wedding, but instead of the jewel I added some black tulle to the top. 

3.  Set it up on your gift table and wait for the cards to come in!

Here you can see my birdcage on the gift table during the wedding:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Military Weddings with Your Own Twist

Have I mentioned that my husband is in the US Air Force?  Well he is.  That being the case, we wanted to do a traditional military wedding.  Except, I still wanted to do things my way and incorporate all the fun and colorful things that I loved.  So I decided to meld it all together with my own twist!

The most prominent issue for me in regards to the military wedding was the color scheme. The problem is that US military uniforms are not just plain black suits/tuxes.  For the Air Force for example, they are navy blue.  Really, they look great, but the question becomes: what do all the other wedding party members wear?  This was a very stressful issue for me! I cannot stand the thought of navy blue mixing with black- they are far too similar but different enough that they would just clash.  So that eliminated tuxes for the guys, as they pretty much come in black.  Next, we considered navy blue to match with the groom, but that made it tough to match the shade of navy blue to his uniform. Navy blue is tricky! I had already planned to wear white, and I decided on purple for the girls (which looks great with navy blue), and silver accents for the wedding, so the problem was just the boys!  Eventually, we came across these beautiful grey suits which looked great with the rest of the color scheme.  In the end, I love how the look came out with me standing out amongst the girls in purple and my husband standing out in his blue amongst the guys in grey. Of course purple looks good with blue, grey, or black, but I liked how we had a pretty unique style using all of these colors for the whole bridal party!  Check us out:

The next thing you must have for a great military wedding is the Sabre Arch.  This is so classic and so fun!  I won't share all the details, but basically right after the end of the ceremony or entering the reception, you and your new husband walk under the arch made by the military members in formation.  You kiss at the end, and everyone cheers. It is a lot of fun and makes your wedding really special.  Talk to your service member spouse-to-be about getting this set up.  You can have your military friends serve for you, or ask a local base or detachment to supply volunteers to come serve.  Oh, and make sure you get the sabres (usually from a local base).  Typically there are 6 or 8 of them in uniform to make the best arch.  Check out the pictures from our wedding:

There are a few more traditions that you can use, but the other one that we chose to use was incorporating a prayer/acknowledgement of military service members into our ceremony.  We had a traditional Lutheran ceremony, which included a time for prayers, and we wrote one specially dedicated to military service members.  We also included a little blurb in our programs.

Like I said, there are more ways that you can include your military traditions into your wedding day, but these were the ones that worked for us.  Military couples should incorporate as much or as little military traditions as they want, and remember- you can still have your own fun and exciting ideas in there as well!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Must Have Beauty Products for Your Wedding Day

I know many brides these days opt to get their makeup done by a professional, and believe me, I did too.  It's nice to have someone pamper you like that on your big day.  If you are doing your own makeup- more power to you!  Regardless, there are some things you should definitely have for yourself that day, just to ensure a flawless look that will last for hours. 

Best Mascara Ever. I buy mine at
First, all brides (and women) need to have a great mascara.  Often times, your makeup artist will use your mascara (for sanitation purposes), and if you have a great go-to mascara like I do, you'll want to use your own anyway.  I have tried many mascaras in my time, and the best one I have found is definitely Diorshow by Christian Dior.  This mascara rocks.  I have pretty short and straight lashes, and this one makes them look a million times longer and fuller.  It also comes in waterproof (which is the one I used for my wedding day, of course) and a few other varieties.  I have tried the others, but I always go back to the original.  This is definitely a must-have for me everyday, and it is a great choice for your wedding day- it will last all day, but keep some in your emergency day-of bag just in case you want a touch-up!
My favorite loose powder, found at
Next, you should definitely have some loose powder handy on your big day.  My go-to is bareMinerals Mineral Veil because it is light and airy but keeps you looking clean and fresh.  I use this along with bareMinerals foundation every day, but I also had it handy on my wedding day.  I found that you want something to touch-up with (since your makeup artist likely won't be following you around all day), especially if it is a hot summer day and you have been sweating.  Even if you got airbrushed, you may need some powder to fix you up after a few hours.  I love this powder and I highly recommend it no matter what your skin type or what the occasion!

Found at retailers like
Finally, you will surely want your favorite lip gloss handy to keep your lips shiny and glowing all day long.  Many makeup artists will use a lip stain which gives you color all day, but it is up to you to keep them looking glossy and gorgeous.  My recent favorite is Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lipgloss because I love the color and shine that it gives to my lips.  Then again, I am just a fan of all Urban Decay beauty products these days (particularly my recent obsession with the Naked 2 palette which I recommend to everyone!).  Regardless of your favorite brand or shade, be sure to keep your lip gloss handy for touch-ups and to keep your lips looking glamorous and kissable for your first moment as man and wife!

So ladies, no matter who is doing your makeup on your wedding day, be sure that you at least have these 3 great products handy to keep you looking fresh and gorgeous all day.  Believe me, these are all well worth the money, and I guarantee you will fall in love and make these part of your daily makeup regimen. 

Check out some of my pre-wedding shots of my makeup- loving that Diorshow mascara for sure!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How to Make an Outdoor Aisle

Outdoor weddings can be really beautiful, but they can also be hard to make work.  Apart from obvious potential difficulties like rain, cold, bugs, and natural disasters, it can also be hard to turn a grassy (or sandy) bit of land into a ceremony space.  One thing that I found really important was creating an aisle.  I love the look of rose petals used to create aisles, and we decided to make that happen for my sister's wedding.  Since the "altar" area for her ceremony was not in line with the stairs she would be walking down, I thought it was important to make an aisle that would flow from the staircase all the way to the "altar" (as seen in the photos). You can make your aisle thinly outlined like this, or you could opt for more rose petals and make it a bit thicker, or even cover the space entirely.  This aisle took about 50 roses' petals to make, so you can get a sense of just how many petals would be required for something thicker.  Personally, I like the look of an outlined aisle, as opposed to filled in- you don't want the focal point of the ceremony space to be on the ground!

Here you can see the yellow rose petals leading the way to the altar.  You can also see the palm plants used to mark the altar space- very appropriate considering we were on an island!
A closeup of the chairs (with my DIY programs) and the potted plants that marked the beginning of the seats.  These planters were found at the thrift shop for a few dollars, and the flowers were picked up at a local Home Depot on the cheap.  DIY!
The view from the top of the steps shows my flower arrangements (see My Life as a Florist for more on those), as well as the start of the aisle (and of course the lovely scenery!)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Purple, Purple Everywhere!

So, the main reason for this post is really that I finally downloaded a program to my computer that turns photos into collages, and I have been wanting to do something like this for a while.  I put together a bunch of my favorite purple pictures from my wedding to make a little theknot-like purple wedding inspiration board for all to enjoy!  Most of what is pictured here is explained elsewhere on the blog, but I hope the color pallet and ideas may be helpful to some future brides!